Is Twitter Entering the Online Video Arms Race?

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You can add Twitter to the list of companies throwing their hat into the online video ring. At the company’s second quarter earnings meeting Twitter execs announced that they would be introducing new options and tools for promoting video content.  The Wall Street Journal is describing the move by Twitter, which already owns micro-video app Vine, as a deliberate challenge to YouTube’s dominance in video advertising.

During the meeting Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto said ““In August, we will launch the beta version of our new promoted video offering which provides a way for high quality content producers and brands to  easily upload, share and measure the distribution and effectiveness of their video content on Twitter.”

This won’t be the first time that brands have been been able to promote video content via twitter.  Twitter’s Amplify service already allows some advertisers to target uses data to help target ad content toward specific users. Twitter has also partnered with brands like ESPN and the FIFA World Cup to deliver targeted video.  The new service will expand those tools to more brands without the need for a high profile deal with Twitter.

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The change could also be revolutionary for YouTube creators who are looking for new ways to distribute their content. Many creators have long expressed concern about being tethered to YouTube, but despite offers from start-ups like Vessel and a revamped Yahoo Screen creators have been reluctant to YouTube with its established community and massive reach. Twitter can offer creators a larger user base than any of the current so-called YouTube challengers.

Most established creators already have large Twitter followings, often comparable in size to their YouTube audience. That following could easily be converted into an audience if Twitter can provide the necessary tools and make a sweet enough offer to creators. Twitter also has an additional asset. A homegrown crop of Vine stars who have seen mixed results in transitioning their 6-second success to YouTube. Unseating YouTube would still be nearly impossible, but Twitter might be better equipped than anyone to try.

Share this article if you’d like to see your favorite creators videos in your Twitter timeline!